VI.

A. INTRODUCTION

PROJECT ALTERNATIVES

This section of the subsequent environmental impact report (EIR) provides a comparative analysis of the merits of alternatives to the proposed project pursuant to Section 15126.6 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. The purpose of the alternatives analysis is to explain potentially feasible ways to avoid or minimize significant effects of the project. According to the State CEQA Guidelines, an EIR need only examine in detail those alternatives that could feasibly meet most of the basic objectives of the project. When addressing feasibility, Section 15126.6 states that “... among the factors that may be taken into account when addressing the feasibility of alternatives are site suitability, economic viability, availability of infrastructure, General Plan consistency, jurisdictional boundaries, and whether the applicant can reasonably acquire, control or otherwise have access to alternative sites.” The State CEQA Guidelines also specify that the alternatives discussion should not be remote or speculative, and need not be presented in the same level of detail as the assessment of the proposed project. Pursuant to the State CEQA Guidelines, several factors need to be considered in determining the range of alternatives to be analyzed in an EIR and the level of analytical detail that should be provided for each alternative. These factors include (1) the nature of the significant impacts of the proposed project, (2) the ability of alternatives to avoid or substantially lessen one or more of the significant effects associated with the project, (3) the ability of the alternatives to meet the objectives of the project, and (4) the feasibility of the alternatives.

B.

RANGE OF ALTERNATIVES

According to the State CEQA Guidelines, the discussion of alternatives should focus on alternatives to a project or its location that can feasibly avoid or substantially lessen one or more of the significant effects of the project. The alternatives discussion should provide decision makers with an understanding of the comparative merits of the alternatives in relation to the proposed project. Section IV, Environmental Impact Analysis, of this Subsequent EIR concludes that project implementation would result in significant and unavoidable environmental impacts with respect to the following:  Noise – Construction -related noise and vibration impacts would affect residential land uses to the east and southwest of the project site.

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Andora Avenue Subdivision – Tentative Tract No. 53426 Subsequent Draft EIR February 2010

VI. Project Alternatives

In response to these significant impacts, the City developed and considered several alternatives to the project. These alternatives include:  Alternative 1 – No Project/No Development Alternative  Alternative 2 – Lower Intensity Alternative  Alternative 3 – Open Space Alternative The alternatives to the proposed project ultimately selected for analysis in this Subsequent EIR were developed to avoid or substantially lessen one or more of the significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed project, while capable of attaining many of the basic goals of the proposed project. The following project goals were identified in the Findings of approval for the proposed project:  The proposed project would provide a maximum of 45 new housing units for the City at a time when housing is in short supply;  The proposed project would be in conformance with the intent and purpose of the Chatsworth-Porter Ranch District Plan and would implement a portion of the City’s General Plan;  The proposed project would generate substantial employment in the construction industry. These jobs, while temporary, would in turn stimulate overall economic activity within the Los Angeles region and generate additional employment opportunities in the commercial and industrial sectors.

C. 1.

ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BUT REJECTED AS INFEASIBLE Alternative Site Alternative

One project alternative considered, but rejected as infeasible, involved the development of the project at a different location. Given that the project applicant does not own or control any other property in the vicinity of the proposed project site, the ability of the project applicant to find and purchase an alternative site to develop the project on is considered speculative. In addition, the development of an alternative site may not be able to meet the project objectives. Lastly, the development of the same uses at a different location would result in similar construction-related noise and vibration impacts. Thus, the selection of an alternative site would not avoid significant impacts. As indicated in CEQA 15126.6(c), “among factors that may be used to eliminate alternatives from detailed consideration in an EIR are (1) failure to meet most of the project objectives, (2) infeasibility, or (3) inability to avoid significant environmental impacts.” As discussed above, the relocation of the project to an alternative site would not be feasible because the obtaining of an alternative site is considered speculative and because development on an alternative site would not avoid or substantially lessen any
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Andora Avenue Subdivision – Tentative Tract No. 53426 Subsequent Draft EIR February 2010

VI. Project Alternatives

of the significant effects of the project. As such, this project alternative was considered infeasible and eliminated from further analysis in this section of the EIR, consistent with State CEQA Guidelines Section 15126.6(c).

D. 1.

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS OF ALTERNATIVES Alternative 1 – No Project/No Development Alternative

Section 15126.6(e) of the State CEQA Guidelines requires that a No Project Alternative be evaluated. As described in the State CEQA Guidelines, the purpose of describing and analyzing the No Project Alternative is to allow decision makers to compare the impacts of approving the proposed project with the impacts of not approving the proposed project. Under the No Project/No Development Alternative, the project site would not be developed and would remain in its current state. None of the impacts associated with construction and operational activities would occur if the No Project/No Development Alternative were selected. No short-term noise or groundborne vibration impacts would occur during construction as a result of this alternative. This alternative is environmentally superior to the proposed project for these reasons.

Relationship to Project Goals
The No Project Alternative would maintain the project site in its existing condition and would not result in the construction of new single-family residences associated with the proposed project. As such, none of the three project goals would be achieved under Alternative 1.  To develop a high quality residential community;  To preserve and enhance the equestrian amenities in the San Fernando Valley;  To enhance accessibility for emergency responders;  To provide a maximum of 45 new housing units for the City while housing is in short supply;  To conform with the intent and purpose of the Chatsworth-Porter Ranch District Plan and implement a portion of the City’s General Plan; and  To generate substantial employment in the construction industry. These jobs, while temporary, would in turn stimulate overall economic activity within the Los Angeles region and generate additional employment opportunities in the commercial and industrial sectors.

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VI. Project Alternatives

Conclusion
Implementation of the No Project Alternative would result in fewer significant and unavoidable impacts in comparison to the proposed project. With implementation of Alternative 1, the following significant and unavoidable impacts associated with project implementation would be avoided:  Noise – Construction -related noise and vibration impacts would affect residential land uses to the east and southwest of the project site. While significant impacts would be avoided through implementation of the No Project Alternative, none of the three project goals would be achieved under this project alternative.

2.

Alternative 2 – Lower Intensity Alternative

Under the lower intensity alternative, only 16 residential units (or 0.2 dwelling unit per gross acre) would be constructed under A-1-1 zoning (which allows 5-acre lots with no open space), as permitted under the Chatsworth-Porter Ranch Community Plan, versus the 45 units permitted under RE40-1-H–K zoning and slope ordinance allowance for the proposed project. Under this alternative, a larger amount of vacant land would be improved and developed, compared to the proposed project, because roadway construction (the main source of grading) would still be needed to serve the residences and there would be less preservation of open space due to the larger lot sizes. Some of the environmental impacts that would occur under this alternative would be reduced to a magnitude of approximately one-third of those estimated for the proposed project since this alternative proposes approximately one-third of the total dwelling units of the proposed project. As shown in Table VI-1, this alternative is expected to generate 15 fewer students, and 9,570 fewer gallons of wastewater per day than anticipated under the proposed project. In addition, this alternative is expected to consume 11,500 fewer gallons of water per day than expected to be consumed under the proposed project. Table VI-I Alternative 2 – Lower Intensity Alternative Impacts
Impact Area Schools Chatsworth Park Elementary School Students Lawrence Middle School Students Chatsworth Senior High School Students Total Students Water (gallons/day) Wastewater (gallons/day) Alternative 2 3 1 2 6 6,350 5,280 Proposed Project 9 4 8 21 17,850 14,850 Net Difference -6 -3 -5 -15 -11,500 -9,570

Source: Generation rates are from the corresponding rates used in Section IV of this Subsequent EIR.

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Andora Avenue Subdivision – Tentative Tract No. 53426 Subsequent Draft EIR February 2010

VI. Project Alternatives

When further compared to the proposed project, the lower-intensity alternative would result in incrementally reduced impacts related to aesthetics and views, biology, air quality, cultural resources, geology, water resources, land use, police and fire services, and transportation. However, the reduction in residential units associated with Alternative 2 would not constitute a substantial reduction in these impacts compared with the proposed project. Development activities associated with the proposed project and Alternative 2 during construction such as demolition, earthmoving, and construction of on-site infrastructure would involve the use of heavy equipment, such as backhoe, dozer, loaders, concrete mixers, and forklifts. Under either the proposed project or Alternative 2, these construction equipment sources would cause significant noise and groundborne vibration impacts. These impacts could be reduced but not eliminated with either development scenario through the implementation of mitigation measures recommended for the project. In addition, the construction duration associated with Alternative 2 would be shorter when compared to the proposed project due to the lower intensity of the alternative. However, construction duration would not be shortened to the extent that noise and groundborne vibration impacts would be substantially reduced. As a result, construction of the project under both scenarios would result in short-term significant and unavoidable impacts. Therefore, Alternative 2 would not avoid or substantially lessen a significant noise impact.

Relationship to Project Objectives
The Lower Intensity Alternative would develop 16 single-family residences, as opposed to 45 residences, on the project site. As such, the following basic project goals would be achieved;  To provide a maximum of 45 new housing units for the City at a time when housing is in short supply;  To conform with the intent and purpose of the Chatsworth-Porter Ranch District Plan and would implement a portion of the City’s General Plan;  To generate substantial employment in the construction industry. These jobs, while temporary, would in turn stimulate overall economic activity within the Los Angeles region and generate additional employment opportunities in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Conclusion
Implementation of the Lower Intensity Alternative would result in reduced significant and unavoidable impacts relative to noise and vibration in comparison to the proposed project. However, these short-term noise impacts would remain significant and unavoidable. Therefore, Alternative 2 would not avoid or substantially lessen a significant noise impact. Further, the reduction in residential units associated with
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Andora Avenue Subdivision – Tentative Tract No. 53426 Subsequent Draft EIR February 2010

VI. Project Alternatives

Alternative 2 would not constitute a substantial reduction in all other environmental impacts compared with the proposed project. Additionally, all project goals would not be achieved to the same extent in comparison with the proposed project; less housing would be introduced, the City’s General Plan would be implemented to a lesser extent, and fewer construction jobs would be generated.

3.

Alternative 3 – Open Space Alternative

Under this alternative, the proposed project site would not be developed under residential uses. Instead, the site would be developed into recreational open space for hiking and horseback riding. This alternative leaves the site in a relatively undeveloped state except for provision and maintenance of 5- and 10-foot-wide trails (or combination 10-foot trail) accessible to horseback riders, hikers and maintenance personnel only. Under this alternative, fewer or no adverse impacts would occur related to aesthetics and views, biology, air quality, cultural resources, geology, water resources, land use, noise, public services, transportation, and public utilities. These impacts would essentially be eliminated since no permanent population would be located on site, and permanent construction (e.g., structures) would not occur or would occur at a substantially lower intensity (e.g., picnic shelters). Alternative 3 would avoid significant short-term noise and groundborne vibration. Although the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks and California Department of Parks and Recreation could have a potential interest in the proposed project site for the development of this alternative, no funds have currently been designated in preparation for site acquisition or development.

Relationship to Project Goals
The Open Space Alternative would develop the project site into recreational open space for hiking and horseback riding and would not result in the construction of new single-family residences associated with the proposed project. As such, none of the three project goals would be achieved under Alternative 3.  To develop a high quality residential community;  To enhance accessibility for emergency responders;  To provide a maximum of 45 new housing units for the City at a time when housing is in short supply;  To conform with the intent and purpose of the Chatsworth-Porter Ranch District Plan and would implement a portion of the City’s General Plan;

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Andora Avenue Subdivision – Tentative Tract No. 53426 Subsequent Draft EIR February 2010

VI. Project Alternatives

 To generate substantial employment in the construction industry. These jobs, while temporary, would in turn stimulate overall economic activity within the Los Angeles region and generate additional employment opportunities in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Conclusion
Implementation of the Open Space Alternative would result in fewer significant and unavoidable impacts in comparison to the proposed project. With implementation of Alternative 3, the following significant and unavoidable impacts associated with project implementation would be avoided:  Noise – Construction -related noise and vibration impacts would affect residential land uses to the east and southwest of the project site. While significant impacts would be avoided through implementation of the Open Space Alternative, none of the three project goals identified above would be achieved under this project alternative.

E.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SUPERIOR ALTERNATIVE

Section 15126.6(e)(2) of the State CEQA Guidelines indicates that an analysis of alternatives to the proposed project shall identify one alternative as the environmentally superior alternative. Furthermore, if the environmentally superior alternative is the No Project alternative, the EIR shall also identify an environmentally superior alternative from among the other alternatives. Of the remaining alternatives, implementation of Alternative 3 (Open Space Alternative) would result in fewer environmental impacts to those of the proposed project. From an environmental perspective, this alternative is superior to the proposed project as it reduces the level of impacts associated with significant unavoidable noise and construction impacts associated with construction. However, Alternative 3 would not meet all three of the project goals to build housing, implement the City’s General Plan, and create construction jobs. The decision makers will take these factors into account when determining the feasibility of this alternative, and may reject this alternative if it finds that economic viability, availability of infrastructure, general plan consistency, other consistency with other plans or regulatory limitations render the alternative infeasible.

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